NORTH RICHLAND HILLS (CBSDFW.COM) – Bad news for full-time workers in the City of North Richland Hills. Leaders there announced Thursday that there are going to be immediate budget and pay cuts as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Saying that they are “anticipating a significant shortfall in sales tax and other revenues” because of COVID-19 leaders announced that budget cuts would happen in all operations, including across the board pay cuts for every full-time employee.
City Manager Mark Hindman said, “Just like so many families and businesses across the community, we must make difficult decisions and adjust our spending. We are facing a challenge unlike any other we have experienced. We must react in a way that continues critical services and does not place additional burden on the taxpayers.”
As it stands, the City of North Richland Hills estimates having a revenue shortfall from lower sales tax collections. And officials say that revenues from permits, fees and other charges for service are already much less for the months of March and April.
In addition to the pay cuts, budget cut expenditures include closing non-emergency city operations for 3 days in May (May 1, May 8 and May 15) — with employees also losing those days of pay.
While public safety operations will not close, officials say public safety employees will be scheduled off for 3 days in accordance with the pay reduction.
In addition to an implemented hiring freeze, city leaders have halted all training and travel expenditures. Part-time worker employee hours have also either been eliminated or significantly reduced.
To save money the City has also suspended library and recreation programs, canceled all special events, and has City departments cut their operating budgets to offset revenue reductions.
“We feel that these actions are necessary now to avoid other more drastic measures, such as reduction or elimination of services, down the road,” Hindman said. “Combined, these actions will lessen the financial impact to the greatest extent possible and allow us to continue serving our residents.”
City officials say they are working with State and County leaders on a plan to begin to re-open businesses, in stages, in the coming weeks.
But for right now Mayor Oscar Trevino pleaded with residents to, “… please continue to limit unnecessary trips, wear a face covering at essential businesses and keep practicing physical distancing measures.”